After ten years of racing Columbia, I decided I needed to change something in my approach. I played with the idea of doing the run barefoot but talked myself out of that one after compiling blister problems running barefoot. I needed to go BIG. I needed to go after the big prize. You know what I am talking ‘bout. The thing that everyone seeks but few attain. That’s right…top place in T2. I am not talking about age group placing. I am talking about the big enchilada…the top spot overall.
Over the last few months I settled into a rigorous training program of running from my couch to the fridge to get a beer…but not before putting on a pair of running shoes. This program came with many studies such as how to coordinate opening the door and grabbing beer in one smooth motion. You know…each hand doing something independent of the other. Other studies include plotting out the most direct path from start to finish. Unfortunately, an enemy spy caught me plotting my course on Saturday at Centennial and stole my clever idea. Nonetheless, this spy was competing in a completely different category so his times simply don’t count. Other studies concerning getting out of bike shoes on the bike, running barefoot and clipping out of the helmet before T2 rounded out a complete analysis of the task ahead. After months of training and careful planning I was ready for my big day.
Got up late and arrived late….all in the plan to stay below everyone’s radar. I have to admit the walk up route 108 to the park was a drag but it was all for a good cause. Not a suspicious eye fell upon me as I set up my run shoes in just the right spot. I hydrated and ate properly leading up to the moment just to make sure there was nothing in the way of excellence.
When the moment came, I hesitated just a little before crossing the timing mat into T2. I got a head full of steam to run through the starting mark. The race was on. Some jokers on my left, some on my right…but there was plenty room to move around. I flew down the hill dragging my bike along instead of carefully steering it. (Note: is there a faster way to do this?) Any who, made it to my row and made a quick right, slightly bumping into equipment along the way. When I reached my spot, carefully (but efficiently) threaded my seat under the rack and hung my bike. Quickly flipped my helmet off while bending down to grab the right shoe. Right shoe on..pull tongue. Left shoe on..pull tongue. Now stand up and run like hell to get out. Made a quick turn right to get out of my lane and ran like my life depended on it. Once I crossed the exit threw on the brakes as I had done whatever I could. Now, it was up to the tri-gods to determine my worthiness.
Results: 44 seconds. Won my age group but not the overall. Lowest I could find in the results was 35 seconds. How to lose 9 seconds…I have no idea but I shall not give up!
Oh yeah, there was a swim, a bike and a run. Meh…a little better on the swim but gave that up on the bike. Heckled my buddy Joe on the run just to get back at him for putting 5 minutes on me in the swim. Missed my goal of top 1/3 for my age group but had a blast. Patti Harden greeted me at the finish….who has been MIA (with new bionic knees) for a while now. The weather was awesome (the last couple of years have been not so good) and seeing all my hyper-fit middle aged friends is an experience I will always (and continue to) treasure. The folks we spend our times with…that is what makes this life worth living.
Next year, I’ve got a few ideas to try…gonna need more beer :0)